Disneyland Photo Report for May 2016

Welcome back to the Disneyland Resort. We’re back after a bit of a break from brining you regular Disneyland Photo Reports. A lot has happened at Disneyland in the past several months. Autopia has reopened following a multi-month refurbishment and rollout of a new sponsorship, the back half of Disneyland has been bulldozed to dirt in preparation for Star Wars Land construction, the new Frozen Musical is nearing it’s debut, and the summertime crowds appear to have already begun!

We’ve got a lot to share with you so let’s get started!

Crowds Continue 

It’s no doubt that if you have visited the Disneyland Resort in the past few weeks you’ve noticed a much more crowded park. The crowed levels are no doubt high, with some reports in excess of 52,000 visitors to Disneyland on some days, but adding to the frustration of guests are the numerous attraction closures. Nine Disneyland attractions have been closed over the past few weeks creating longer wait times at the attractions which are open and contributing to crowded walkways. But with the reopening of some of the attractions, with the exception of the Star Wars Land closures, will come heavy summer crowds. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick off to the summer season and we are only three weeks away.

Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Main Streeet USA at Disneyland Partners and Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

Autopia Reopens

The classic Tomorrowland attraction Autopia has reopened following a multi-month long closure. During the closure the attraction received some fresh paint, a few updates to some of the ride vehicles, and a new sponsor.

Among the updates: The Attraction’s burnt orange paint, left over from the 1998 Tomorrowland re-theme, was updated to match the rest of the land’s new blue and white color scheme. Most of the ride vehicles were also updated with new paint and stylings, which include Honda logos to reflect the new attraction’s sponsorship.

The ride track layout remains untouched and the Autopia cars retained their gasoline engines. It was hoped that Disney would take the opportunity to upgrade the cars to a more “futuristic” clean energy option. Also updated, the large video screen seen by guests as they wait in the “grandstand” style queue. The screen now features scenes from The Wonderful World of Disney.

The new entrance sign for the Disneyland Autopia sponsored by Honda

The 'Grandstand' ride queue has been repainted white and blue to match the rest of Tomorrowland

The large video screen has been updated to feature Wonderful World of Disney video segments

Some of the Disneyland Autopia cars have been repainted and re-themed

New Honda badging on the Disneyland Autopia cars

You can view more photos in our Autopia Reopens at Disneyland news article.

 Star Wars Land Construction Update

But what’s capturing the most attention these days is what Disneyland is doing in the 14 acres behind the park. Most of the backstage area’s, including Circle D Ranch, have been demolished. 60 plus year-old trees have been removed, and mounds of dirt are starting to be shifted around the Star Wars Land construction site. The area appears to be mostly cleared, and from various angles we can get an idea of just how large the new Star Wars experience will be.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

The back of Toontown is visible on one side of the Star Wars Land construction site.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

The back of the Fantasyland Theater can be clearly seen as well.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

With the Star Wars Land construction site is wide open it becomes clear how well Disneyland has made such a compact area feel much larger. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Matterhorn Bobsleds can been seen below.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016 Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

Some of the backstage support buildings remain untouched on the south west side of the construction site.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

Interestingly, Disneyland has not demolished to old Fantasyland Skyway Chalet. The building use to house the Skyway which took visitors from Fantasyland, through the Matterhorn, to Tomorrowland. The attraction opened in 1956 and closed in 1994. The building has been sitting in decay for the past 22 years and can now clearly be seen in this photo below.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

A closer look at the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet.  It’s not clear if Disneyland is planing to keep this structure, perhaps refurbish it and utilize it somehow, or if demolition is planned for a later time. We’ll keep and eye on it.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

A closer look at the back of Toontown.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016 Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016 Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016 Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

From inside the park guests can see over the construction fence. So many trees have been removed that the Mickey and Friends Park Structure is clearly visible.

Star Wars Land Construction at Disneyland, May 2016

 

Around the Resort

Disneyland recently closed the short lived Marvel Super Hero HQ area of Innoventions. The downstairs portion of Innoventions remains open, housing Star Wars Launch Bay, and soon the upstairs will be extended as a preview center for Star Wars Land.

Captain America, who use to have a permanent meet and greet at Super Hero HQ, has been spotted meeting with guests around Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure.

Captain America in HollywoodLand at Disney California Adventure

The replacement for the Aladdin musical at the Hyperion theater will soon be ready. “Frozen Live at The Hyperion” opens May 27th.

Frozen Live at the Hyperion Coming Soon to Disney California Adventure Hyperion Theater

Grizzly River Run is currently closed and drained for a refurbishment. The attraction is set to reopen on May 19.

Grizzly River Run closed for a refurbishment, May 2016

Soarin’ Around the World, the new replacement for the current Soarin’ Over California, will open on June 17, 2016.

Soarin' Over California at Disney California Adventure Red Car Trolley and Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Kingswell Camera Shop on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Astro Orbitor in Disneyland's Tomorrowland British Flag on Tarzan's Treehouse at Disneyland

That’s going to do it for this Disneyland Photo Report

Be sure to check our Disneyland Attraction Closure and Information page for more information as well as our Knott’s Berry Farm page for information on Knott’s and Soak City this summer. See you soon!

  • Sebizzar

    Thank you! I’ve missed these updates.

  • Ariel Welch

    You’re back! I am so happy! I love these updates, and this was wonderful to see. I have been feeling left out on all the Disneyland news and I am glad to have this back!